134. Hercules and the Erymanthian Boar

Once upon a time, King Eurystheus of Mycenae and Tiryns, commanded a labor to Hercules, the son of Zeus and Alcmene, to bring back alive the gigantic boar, which resided in the Erymanthos mountain and ravaged the fields of Psophis, in western Arcadia.

Hercules proceeded to capture the Erymanthian boar. While he was passing through Mount Pholoe, in Arcadia, the Centaur Pholos, son of Seilenos and the nymph Melias, greeted him as a guest. Pholos served roast meat and when Hercules asked for wine, he feared to open the jar of aged wine, as it collectively belonged to all the Centaurs. But at Hercules’ bidding, the large-hearted Pholos opened the wine jar and served wine to Hercules. The scent of the delicious wine floated around, and the intoxicating smell of the matured wine drove the other Centaurs mad. The Centaurs Ankhios and Agrios, armed with firs and rocks, entered the cave of Pholos but Hercules repelled them. Many other Centaurs attacked and Hercules shot them with his arrows, while others fled away. When Pholos pulled out an arrow from a dead Centaur, it slipped from his grasp, fell on his foot and he died instantly. Hercules gave Pholos a grand burial at the foot of Mount Pholoe, and thereafter, departed to find the Erymanthian boar.

It was winter and the Mount Erymanthos was covered with heavy snow. Hercules spotted the boar amidst a cluster of trees and since, he had to capture the boar alive, he began to loudly shout at the boar. Terrified by the hollering, the boar came out, ran in the thick snow and Hercules pursued the boar. The heavy snow weakened the boar, its pace slowed down, and Hercules threw a noose to capture it. Thus, the terrible boar of immense strength and size was subdued. Hercules lifted the boar on his strong shoulders and carried it back alive, to Mycenae.

Upon seeing the boar, Eurystheus was so afraid that for his own safety, he jumped into a big jar.

~0~
Excerpt from the book “Once Upon A Time-II: 150 Greek Mythology Stories” by Rajen Jani

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